A simple strategy for creating a user-friendly WhatsApp chatbot
November 14, 2022
Table of contents
Choosing bots as your first level of customer support is a great idea. However, you need to remember that a bot is complementary to a human and never a replacement. At some point in your customer’s journey, they must be able to talk to a human agent.
A carefully crafted bot can help you get more things done in a short span of time without overworking your staff. If your bot is badly designed, it can leave customers frustrated and damage your business.
You need your bot to:
- Solve a pain that your customer is facing, and
- Make the experience as smooth as possible.
Here is a 5-step strategy for how to do it:
1. Brainstorm your WhatsApp chatbot’s purpose/goal.
The why behind creating your bot is the most critical step. You need to know which of your customers’ problems the bot will solve.
You need to have a good understanding of the messages you receive. Have a look at 50-100 messages you receive and categorize them. Categories with the following characteristics are worth having a bot for
There is a high volume of customer inquiries about it - The categories with the highest rates could be worth making a chatbot for.
The task is repetitive and you have a standard procedure for it - If you have developed or can create a clear set of steps for a task that you must repeatedly do for all customers, you could need a bot.
It is taking a lot of your team’s time - If the category meets the above and is taking a big chunk of your team’s time, you need a bot for it.
Sit with your team and brainstorm some ideas on why you need a chatbot. Ask yourself questions like the following:
- Why do we need a WhatsApp chatbot? What problem is it going to solve?
- Will the bot automate lead qualification?
- Will it convert leads that meet your ideal customer profile?
- Do we need to automate part of our customer support post-sales?
You might need a bot for multiple purposes and goals. Regardless of how many goals you have, you need clarity on what problem(s) exactly it will solve. Here are some examples:
When customers click on our Instagram ads that click to WhatsApp, we need a bot to greet them and answer their questions about price, product features, and shipping information. If they have more specific questions, an agent could attend to them.
We need a bot to ask customers for feedback after purchasing and receiving a product. If they have positive feedback, the bot needs to guide them to our website to leave a review. If they have negative feedback, the bot will connect them to a team member who can help.
2. Draw a flowchart of the chatbot conversation.
On a piece of paper, draw a flow chart from the first customer contact until the goal is reached. Remember, a goal might be reached entirely by a chatbot or at some point, a human agent might be needed.
Either way, the customers must finish a journey and know what to expect next.
Lack of clarity can frustrate customers and make them lose trust in your business.
These are some questions to ask yourself when making this flowchart:
- What questions does your bot need to ask them?
- Do you have to ask your questions in a specific order?
- What questions might the customers ask?
- What answers should the bot give them?
For example, let’s say you have a real estate agency and help buyers find high-end houses. You need to qualify the leads before you show them houses, and doing so in person with every client is inefficient. Therefore, a chatbot could be programmed to handle lead qualification. A potential flowchart for such a case could look like this:
The above example is one of a WhatsApp bot’s most straightforward use cases. Sometimes, you need to follow up on a customer’s answer with a specific question. Your flow will branch out more, and your bot will be complex.
Regardless of how simple or sophisticated your flowchart becomes, keep these things in mind when creating it:
Always allow contact with a human agent - The best of bots are still complimentary to a human’s work and never a replacement. For great customer support, customers should always be able to talk to someone in your team. Chatbots have their limitations and cannot detect every single customer intent.
Set the right expectation with the customer - It must be clear to the customers that they’re talking to a bot and not a human agent. You need to show that early on in the first message of your bot. For example, “Hi there! This is Rasayel’s chatbot. How can I help you today?”
The language of your bot - Your bot represents your business, and its language must match your business and brand culture. Do you have a friendly business culture? You can consider a casual and conversational tone with a touch of humor for your bot.
Define user intents (scope) - You need to know exactly what your bot will and will not handle. Depending on your goal, your bot could give customers options for answers. Alternatively, it could ask them open-ended questions like “How can I help you?” The former case is simple. For the latter, your bot must be “intelligent” enough to understand what the customer means.
Bot misunderstanding - There could always be customer inquiries and situations you haven’t considered while creating your bot. As a result, it may not detect a customer’s intent. Instead of telling the customer something like “I’m sorry. I didn’t get that. ” a great solution would be to have a fallback; The bot asks the customer to reword their question, gives them options to choose from, or notifies a human agent to attend to the customer.
Keep the messages short - Avoid lengthy messages with lots of emojis. Try to keep your messages as concise as your can. If that’s not possible, keep the message in digestible bites by using numbers or bullet points.
Reduce the number of steps in the flow - As much as possible, try to minimize the number of steps/questions that your bot needs to do without compromising the user experience.
Define waiting time and what your bot will do - A customer messages you, and your bot starts asking them questions. At some point, the customer stops replying to your bot. There could be different reasons for that, but the conversations should not stop there. Instead, define a waiting time for the bot to remind them once or twice. If the customer is still unresponsive, the bot could assign an agent to help them.
Avoid stubbornness - A well-designed bot is able to adapt to different customer messages and offer relevant answers. Customers know they are talking to a bot, but they expect a human-like conversation. A badly-designed bot insists on a set of pre-programmed messages regardless of the customer’s intent. This is frustrating for customers and makes them leave the conversation.
Ask the customers if their inquiry/issue was resolved - The customer decides whether their inquiry/issue is resolved, not the bot. After the bot reaches its final step and the customer has seemingly obtained what they had asked for, ask the customers a quick “Was this helpful?” If the customer is unhappy, your bot should notify an agent to attend to the customer.
3. Create the chatbot!
You may code your bot or choose a chatbot from a bot builder like Rasayel. You can easily create a bot conversation flow with Rasayel, as seen below:
4. Test your WhatsApp chatbot.
Before you release the chatbot into the wild, get your team to test it as much as possible. Pretend to be a customer and send messages to see where your bot falls short. Send messages that have clear user intent and messages that are vague. See if the bot guides you in the right direction.
5. Monitor and Improve your chatbot.
Building a bot is an iterative process. You regularly need to monitor your bot to see whether it meets the goals you defined in the first step. If not, you need to make changes to it. After the first month, here is what you can do:
- Look at 50-100 conversations handled by the bot and see how the customers reacted. Are they satisfied with the answers? Do they exit the flow?
- Look at what answers they click on the most. For example, if there is a question with three answers, is there an answer they don’t click on? If yes, you might need to change that.
- Build a second version of the bot and see if it performs better. Repeat this every six months to ensure your bot matches your customer’s queries.
Moreover, as your business grows and you have new customers with new questions, your bot should keep up. Every now and then, sit with your team and refine your bot based on your business needs.
What you need to have before creating your WhatsApp chatbot
You must have a few things:
You need WhatsApp Business API or WhatsApp Cloud API.
You cannot create a WhatsApp chatbot with the WhatsApp Business app or WhatsApp Messenger app. You must have access to the WhatsApp Business API or WhatsApp Cloud API first.
You need a team inbox or CRM.
WhatsApp APIs do not have an interface for you to send and receive messages. Therefore, you must have a team inbox like Rasayel to connect to the API.
You need to create your bot with coding or use a bot builder like Rasayel.
It can take a lot of time and effort to create a WhatsApp chatbot on your own. A better way would be to use a bot builder and customize it for your business needs.
Rasayel is a WhatsApp platform and inbox that lets its users create a chatbot in a matter of minutes.
Further reading: Everything you need to know about WhatsApp Chatbots
A well-designed bot could make a positive impact on the growth and efficiency of your business. Before designing a bot, you need to know your bot’s exact purpose.
Before you release the bot to your customers, test it. After release, and as your business grows, keep a close eye on whether it’s handling customer inquiries effectively. If not, make changes. Bots are ever-evolving to meet new customer queries, so a bot that works today may not work as well the following year.
If you’d like to learn more about how WhatsApp can help you grow your business, please reach out to us on WhatsApp at +13024070488
We also offer a free consultation session where we go through your use case, answer any questions you have about WhatsApp, and help you build a strategy to make the best out of the platform. Book a call with us below. We’d love to speak with you:
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